Silly season of referendums

First, we had David Cameron’s referendum on Brexit. Regardless of the inevitability of such a backlash (read Hans Werner-Sinn’s sensible piece here), it was perhaps a stupid thing to do – less than a year after winning a more comfortable mandate to govern. Perhaps, it was as much hubris as it was their blissful ignorance of the ground reality that led to the referendum being called.

Then, we had the Colombian government putting its peace deal with rebels to a referendum vote. They rejected it.

Now, in the coming months, we have the Italian referendum. Contrary to popular perceptions, the referendum is not about Italy’s continued membership of the single currency. It is about reforms to the way their Senate functions. But yet, it has somehow morphed into a referendum on the Eurozone itself!

Whether they are stupid or if it is by design, it is quite surprising to see politicians contrive to conjure up such impossible situations for themselves. May be, secretly, some of them do want to see the existing order change? IF so, they are darn smarter than we give them credit for.


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